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A '''mental health consumer''' (or mental health patient) is a person who is obtaining treatment or support for a mental disorder, also known as psychiatric or mental illness. The term was coined by people who use mental health services in an attempt to empower those with mental health issues, usually considered a Marginalization|marginalized segment of society. The term suggests that there is a reciprocal contract between those who provide a service and those who use a service and that individuals have a choice in their treatment and that without them there could not exist mental health providers. In the 1970s the term "patient" was most commonly used. Mental Health activists of the civil rights times recognized, as did many other groups seeking self-definition, that such labels are metaphors that reflect how identities are perceived and constructed (McDonald 206). In particular, in the mental health field they shape the nature of the relationship...
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